Chris Metzen: Fare thee well, bro

A long, long time ago, when I was in my first year of high school, I met a dude named Derek. Derek was a major geek who had his own dial up network where you could download or play games. This was all run from a commodore 64 computer–which were all the rage back when I was in HS. That dude turned me on to a game called Ultima IV, which pretty much indulged my Dungeons and Dragons loving side.

chris-metzen

The man behind Ultima IV (and the Ultima universe) was a man named Richard Garriott, or affectionately, Lord British. Not unlike a lot of gamers today, he started out on table top games like D&D. Lord British was a huge influence in my life. He was ultimately the reason I wanted to go into computer programming and make my own games. I never did that, but that’s beside the point!

A few days ago we got the news that another huge, influential person in the gaming industry was stepping down. Riding off into the sunset. Retiring. Many of us gasped. Some were saddened. I’m sure some of the a-holes rejoiced, foolishly thinking that something better was in store for their “wronged” class.

Chris Metzen might have started out as an artist, but then he artfully (whether he would ever admit it or not) crafted a universe that was not only vivid, but populated by like-minded human beings. Us. As beautiful as a universe as Warcraft is–it is brought to life by the online community. Now, if you have played Warcraft for any length of time, you know this community can be a pain in the arse at times–not unlike any community though, right? Still, anything I have ever done that had real meaning in the game, was done with others around me. For this, I thank Chris Metzen. For bringing us all together.

I hope Metzen goes on and enjoys some peace and quality time with his family. I also hope that the fire that we all know still burns in his belly, pushes him to come back–when he is ready. When those kids are older, and into their own things. At 42, Chris is still a young dude. Young enough to have 1-2 more “tricks” up his sleeve. Can you image what he might come up with after 6-8-10 years of pondering about it?

So, go ahead and take a wonderful break Chris. You have well earned it. I wish you nothing but the best in your next chapter of life. I do hope, and look forward to your possible return someday. Perhaps a blue portal will open up outside my window. I will no doubt be compelled to enter. Leaving all I have known, to willing explore another universe. Godspeed my friend. Godspeed.

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2 Responses to Chris Metzen: Fare thee well, bro

  1. John Patrick says:

    Agree with your comments 100%.

    Chris Metzen added something tangible to the World of Warcraft and Blizzard’s other properties. It’s great to see talent like that put to good use – doubly so when it enriches a game you like to play!
    I recently took a census of other games in the MMO-sphere and their active player numbers. I also discovered many “behind the scenes” anecdotes as to why certain games failed and others never found their footing. It all comes down to talent and dedication of the design staff. While some individual game designers are outstanding, others are not. It is a TEAM business, and having three of four outstanding members in a team of two dozen does not a success make.

    I also wish Mr. Metzen future success in life, family, and professional endeavors. He’s earned it.

    /salute

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